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Monday, April 22, 2024

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Brand New Vs Second-hand Formwork in Construction

The ever-increasing inflation of costs in construction means further demand for methods and materials to keep expenses low. A significant debate is occurring over the use of second-hand or brand-new formwork.

Formwork uses shoring systems, timber beams and sheets to mold concrete and controls its position until it has set. Common setups include H Frame or V Frame shoring propping up LVL Timber. Below are the arguments for using second-hand formwork products and whether it is safe to combine old and new.

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As is the case with most stock, second-hand formwork is cheaper than brand-new stock. But the price can be affected in different ways. Another aspect to consider is how many wholesale formwork suppliers provide the option to hire used stock.

Renting used products will significantly lower the final price by as much as 60%, depending on the timeframe for which you require it. A costly task can suddenly become an opportunity to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Suppliers ask for bond deposits when hiring, meaning adequate care must be taken when using the equipment. Second-hand stock is not an excuse to use and abuse; make sure you do not break anything or risk losing the deposit.


The new formwork’s strict industry standards must also apply to second-hand equipment. This includes the structural integrity of shoring systems, correct usage on-site and their safe working load.

Used components under the care of high-quality suppliers will retain the same level of strength and durability similar to when they were new. It is on you to browse and research the local market and find a company that works to comply with regulatory bodies.

We advise you to ask for proof specifically or see the paperwork verifying the integrity and safety of shoring systems.

Efficiency of The Worksite

Those choosing to hire second-hand formwork gain the benefit of saving time on multiple fronts. Certain wholesalers not only deliver to the site but also can arrange to pick up their stock. This saves time and money spent searching for and arranging storage for V Frames in-between jobs.

Mix & Match Using Modular Designs

If a supplier does not have enough used stock, the modular design of shoring systems means you can mix and match between old and new. One thing to keep in mind is the design itself.

Much older components may vary not in their design but in the dimensions of their tubing. For example, new V Frames may have tubes of 48mm diameter, whereas older frames may have a 60mm diameter. We do not recommend you attempt to combine these two different frames in this situation.

Choosing used formwork over new can provide cost savings and increased efficiency while offering the same functionality. That is not to say new equipment is useless. Many tradesmen will have their own reasoning, and the factors discussed in this article may not burden them. Every project is different, and if you are trying to decide between the two, speak with your local supplier today.